Survey: Affordable housing, education top priorities for Denver residents

DENVER -- Affordable housing is the biggest issue facing Denverites and the city's government isn't doing enough to solve the problem, according to the results of a new survey of Denver residents.

Research firm Strategies 360 carried out the survey, which was sponsored by All in Denver along with Close to Home, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Del Norte Community Development Corporation, Denver Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Gorman & Company, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver and the Urban Land Conservancy.

Strategies 360 called 404 likely 2018 voters in Denver between Feb. 15 and Feb. 18, reaching both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.

Thirty-five percent of survey respondents listed affordable housing as the most important issue for the Denver City Council and mayor to address, up from 30 percent last year.

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The second highest priority for survey respondents was education, followed by homelessness and the cost of living.

Here's a breakdown of what percentage of respondents listed each issue as their top priority:

  • Affordable housing: 35 percent
  • Education: 31 percent
  • Homelessness: 24 percent
  • The cost of living: 21 percent
  • Transportation: 18 percent
  • Public safety: 13 percent
  • Jobs and the economy: 11 percent
  • Parks, trails and open space: 11 percent
  • Taxes: 10 percent
  • Making city more green/sustainable: 8 percent
  • Libraries: 5 percent
  • Other: 4 percent

A majority of survey respondents also felt that local officials are not doing enough to address the issue of affordable housing. Sixty-six percent said the mayor and city council are doing "too little" while 21 percent said officials are doing "about the right amount."

The survey also asked potential voters about whether they would support various policy options, including a new sales tax of .1 percent to expand programs to build affordable housing and help those at risk of losing their homes. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they would support such a tax and 23 percent were opposed.

The issue on which survey respondents were closest to a consensus was that of homelessness - 96 percent of people said that homelessness is a serious issue in Denver, with 59 percent classifying it as a "very serious" issue and 37 percent calling it "somewhat serious."

Read the full report at allindenver.org.

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